- Greater flexibility for consumers and businesses under the State’s most significant liquor reform in a decade
- Tourism WA given equal weight when considering liquor licensing applications
- Licensed restaurants with a capacity of 120 people or less able to serve alcohol without a meal
- Changes deliver on election commitments and strike the balance between responsible liquor consumption and transforming the tourism and hospitality industry
The McGowan Government will introduce the most significant reforms to Western Australia’s liquor laws in a decade to support local businesses, create more jobs and drive a new wave of activity through WA’s vibrant hospitality scene.
Following the success of Mark McGowan’s reforms in 2006 that gave rise to Perth’s small bars and a new sophisticated drinking culture, the Liquor Control Amendment Bill 2018 will be presented to State Parliament next week.
The Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Western Australia will be given equal consideration to that of the Chief Health Officer and Commissioner of Police when assessing liquor licensing applications.
Under the changes, Tourism WA will be able to put forward a submission regarding the tourism benefits of any application – creating more balance in the consideration of licences.
In addition, a new category will be added to the public interest assessment to allow venues’ tourism, community and cultural benefits to be considered as part of a licence application.
Among the raft of proposed amendments, licensed restaurants with a capacity of 120 people or less will be able to serve alcohol without a meal. Currently, restaurant licensees must lodge a separate application for a permit to allow this authority.
The change reflects a sensible balance between harm minimisation and transforming the drinking culture in Perth by permitting venues to cater for the after-work drinks crowd and giving greater choice to visitors.
Additional common-sense amendments include allowing patrons to take home their unfinished wine bottle when out to dinner at a small bar or tavern.
The McGowan Government recognises the integral link between tourism in our State and making the drinking experience safer and more enjoyable for locals and visitors alike.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
“We’re getting on with the job by introducing these reforms to cut red tape and bring in a more common-sense approach to liquor licensing.
“Our small bar scene changed the face of Perth, it drove new economic activity and injected life into the heart of the city and towns across our State – and it didn’t cost taxpayers a cent.
“I want to pick up from where I left off and encourage more vibrancy in our hospitality industry and make it easier for local businesses to do business.
“Tourism is a key economic driver for WA and plays a vital role in the State Government’s plan to diversify the State’s economy and create new jobs.
“Since our first wave of reforms in 2006, 118 small bars are now operating across our State and with these further changes, we hope to see more innovative small businesses opening, creating more jobs for Western Australians.”
Comments attributed to Tourism and Racing and Gaming Minister Paul Papalia:
“These reforms will mean venues that deliver cultural and tourism value will have a better chance of obtaining a suitable liquor licence.
“This is just another example of the McGowan Government’s commitment to deliver a suite of changes that will elevate the importance of tourism in our State by modernising WA’s liquor laws.
“We recognise there is an integral link between tourism in our State and providing greater convenience, choice and flexibility for visitors and locals alike.
“By cutting red tape we are supporting exciting local businesses, creating more jobs and moving towards a tourism-friendly hospitality industry.”